Riders saddle up to harness black dog

TAMWORTH’S Rod Thompson knows all too well “the black dog” of depression and his experiences have driven him – quite literally – to do everything he can to raise funds and awareness to help others in need.

SUPPORTIVE: Black Dog Ride organiser Rod Thompson, third from left, with ride participants Bruce Clare, Richard 
Procter, Jim 
Penberthy, Venessa Penberthy and Robyn Procter.  Photo: Gareth 
Gardner  250214GGC02

SUPPORTIVE: Black Dog Ride organiser Rod Thompson, third from left, with ride participants Bruce Clare, Richard Procter, Jim Penberthy, Venessa Penberthy and Robyn Procter. Photo: Gareth Gardner 250214GGC02

Mr Thompson is organising the inaugural Black Dog Ride for Tamworth on March 23, where motorcycle enthusiasts will ride from Bikes and Bits on Goonoo Goonoo Rd, up through Uralla and on to Walcha before arriving back at the Longyard Hotel for lunch.

The idea began with West  Australian man Steve Andrews, who lost his mother to suicide, as a means of raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention, and since 2010, a one-day ride has been held annually in cities around the nation.

Funds raised from this year’s rides are going to Lifeline and Mental Health First Aid, a national not-for-profit health promotion charity focused on mental health training and research.

Prospective participants are urged to register prior to the event to assist with catering requirements online at  www. 1dayer2014.eventbrite.com.au